James Lee Burke






Publisher: Allen & Unwin, October 2006
Reviewed by Sally Roddom

James Lee Burke's compellingly haunted Detective Dave Robicheaux of New Iberia, Louisiana, returns to solve a pair of mysteries. Firstly, 18-year-old Yvonne Darbonne has apparently committed suicide, but everyone who knew her is at a loss to figure out why she would take her own life. Robicheaux is also doing a cold-case investigation into a hit-and-run homicide. Robicheaux comes across an obscure clue that points him in the direction of Darbonne's boyfriend, Tony Lujan. Tony is the son of a prominent but notorious Louisiana businessman. To add to the mix, Trish Klein has arrived in town. Trish is the daughter of Robicheaux's old drinking buddy, Dallas Klein, gunned down during a bank robbery right in front of a very drunk Robicheaux. As a result of this event, Robicheaux joined AA and moved as a recovering alcoholic to New Iberia. Coincidentally, this is where the suspects of Klein's murder have moved. Trish was six years old when her father was murdered, and now she is passing counterfeit $100 bills and vowing to kill her father's killers.

PEGASUS DESCENDING is the 15th book starring Detective Dave Robicheaux and, as with the others, is full of surprises, excitement, tragedy and an array of fascinating characters. The plot is well thought out, and the pace is edge-of-the-seat. The finale couldn't get much bigger than the arrival in the last few pages of the hurricane Katrina. No spoilers here all the ends have been tied up by this point: James Lee Burke just uses the disaster to put all the drama that has preceded the arrival of the hurricane into perspective. A brilliant move that enables the reader to get a sense of time and place.

February 2007 review originally published at Murder & Mayhem


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